Tagged: Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Jr On Materialism And A Revolution In Values #BlackHistoryMonth

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“We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

This Martin Luther King, Jr quote has been a popular one for this site. It’s been an extraordinary gem hidden in one of King’s more famous speeches that isn’t his super famous speech although it still contains a dream. As I explained in QUOTE: Martin Luther King Jr On Environmentalism it’s been difficult to find a quote about the environment from the canon of Civil Rights Movement era heroes and sheroes. You can read about some possible reasons why there. I thought this quote was worth bringing back again on this blog though and here’s why. Continue reading

QUOTE: Martin Luther King Jr On Environmentalism

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“We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

So far in my studies this is as close as I can get to a quote about the environment from the canon of Civil Rights Movement era heroes and sheroes. The best I’ve found as a reason for this and many other important issues not typically addressed by the those involved in the movement back then “That’s just not how we were thinking.” So at a time when some issues I face as a young Black person in America today were not addressed then, Dr. King had the foresight and understanding to connect these dots just before his death. Dots that many still haven’t connected yet. Continue reading

VIDEO: A Still Timely Speech From The Man Himself On Martin Luther King Jr Day

MLK with Johnson
Photo Credit: Yoichi R. Okamoto, White House Press Office

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin…we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society.

When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Beyond Vietnam speech, April 4, 1967, Riverside Church, New York City

King’s “Beyond Vietnam” or the “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam” speech was made one year to the day before he would be assassinated. This is King at the depth of his popularity, when even many, including Black people, turned their backs on him. This is King at his most controversial, and possibly at his most enlightened. Continue reading

RIP Dorothy Height: Women’s and Civil Rights Leader Dies At 98

A Negro woman has the same kind of problems as other women, but she can’t take the same things for granted.” ~Dorothy Height

I just wanted to draw some attention to the passing of Dorothy Height, women’s, African American rights leader and chairwoman of the National Council of Negro Women. She died on Tuesday at 98 years old. I didn’t want for it to be the case that Dorothy Height would get the Farrah Fawcett treatment when she died the same day as Michael Jackson. She died the same day as Hip Hop legend Guru, born Keith Elam, of Gang Starr.

Her social activism lasted 80 years and while we find time to revere male heroes of the civil rights movement every year we neglect the heroines. Continue reading

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On “Peace Within And Peace Without”

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I heard this speech again for the first time in December. This is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “A Christmas Sermon on Peace” (1967).

Dr. King first delivered this sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he served as co-pastor. On Christmas Eve, 1967.

There was always something missing to me in his ideas about non violence and why it was not a strategy or a tactic but a lifestyle and a worldview.

Dr. King’s birthday and federal holiday land in the beginning of the year, just as many are slowly abandoning their New Year’s resolutions. Well before New Years I resolved to let go of grudges and anger long held inside for persons that had no idea that’s what I was doing all this time.

But how? Surely it was easier said and resolved than done. In this speech I found an answer that apparently I wasn’t ready to hear before.

Often Dr. King’s sharp and analytical mind is overlooked in favor of a “Santa Clausified”, sanitized preacher from Georgia who made one good speech.

In “A Christmas Sermon on Peace” he explains the difference between like and love, why we should love, forgive and work towards peace. He offers us the opportunity to rethink “Peace on Earth, Good Will toward Men” as “peace within and peace without.”

An excerpt: Continue reading

Tavis Smiley Ends State Of The Black Union– What Now?

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Talk show host Tavis Smiley has decided to end his annual State of the Black Union Conference. In 2005 the conference spawned the book “Covenant with Black America,” about issues in black community.

In more recent times the conference took a very critical tone towards President Barack Obama.

“[The State of the Black Union] doesn’t have the premium that it used to have – and that’s a good thing,” Tavis Smiley, The Associated Press.

Seems to me Obama as the first Black president was such a game changer conference regulars weren’t sure how to react. Which is fine because many of us didn’t, but I find their harsh tone is suspicious. As a nightly half-hour talk show host on PBS Smiley has facilitated many conversations about President Obama not being Black enough, acknowledging Black people, and not standing up for Black people enough.

I think the last criticism is valid because Continue reading